AARP is one of the United States' largest nonprofit organizations, with more than 35 million members, all of whom are over the age of 50 years. Its purposes include promoting independence, dignity, and purpose for older persons; enhancing the quality of life of older persons; and encouraging older people “to serve, not to be served.” But in 1998, it needed to respond to powerful demographic trends. The baby boomer generation was aging. They were the future market for the association's programs, but their lives were different from those of earlier generations. People were living longer and working longer. If the association was going to continue growing, it would need to attract this rising and somewhat different generation of Americans.

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